Rs100b power project loan signed

Installation of 93-kilometres long gas pipeline is completed


Our Correspondent December 18, 2020
PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE:

Punjab government has signed a financing agreement worth Rs100 billion with a consortium of six commercial banks for setting up a 1,236 megawatts (MW) thermal power plant.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar chaired the agreement signing ceremony held at a local hotel on Thursday.

The agreement was signed between the Punjab Thermal Power (Pvt) Ltd – a company owned by the government through the provincial Energy Department and a consortium of six banks. Punjab Secretary Finance Abdullah Sumbal signed the agreement from the government side.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister termed the agreement the largest sovereign guarantee in the history of the country and congratulated Punjab Finance Ministers Hashim Jawan Bakht, Dr Akhtar Malik and others. GSA and PPA agreements have been signed despite slackness in business activities due to corona on-slaught, he maintained.

He highlighted that the Punjab Thermal Power Plant was speedily completed and electricity would be generated by the end of 2021.

Around 80% of work has been completed on RLNG-based Punjab Power Plant in Trimmu as installation of 93-kilometres long gas pipe-line and 48-kilometres long transmission line projects have been completed.

Similarly, the latest technology-based system has been installed in the Punjab Power Plant to generate cheap electricity. Due to payment in Pakistani rupees, the precious reserves would be saved along with a decrease in the production cost of the electricity, he maintained.

This would help in bringing a substantial decrease in circular debt along with creating job opportunities for thousands of people. The Punjab government is giving attention to electricity generation through alternate sources keeping in view the less cost of electricity produced through solar, wind or hydropower plants, the chief minister said.

Buzdar maintained that electricity was produced at the rate of Rs9.29 to Rs27.12 per unit in power plants installed in previous tenures.

However, the per-unit cost of electricity generated through Punjab Thermal Power Plant would be Rs8.95 per unit, he added. More than 27 million units of electricity have been generated by the hydropower projects installed in Pakpattan and Marala by the incumbent government, he said.

Meanwhile, 7,000 government offices have been converted to solar energy, including 6,991 primary schools and a DHQ hospital.

By the mid of next year, the government will complete Chianwali and Deg-outfall Hydropower  projects, he announced.

He further announced to early complete the conversion of 10,861 schools and 2,324 BHUs to solar energy.

In addition to the installation of 1,000 megawatts capacity power plant in Rojhan, solar and biogas hydropower plants will also be installed in Vehari and Samundri, he added.

The government is also vigorously pursuing the generation of 150-megawatt energy through waste-to-energy projects.

Instead of expensive electricity generation, the chief minister maintained the incumbent government is giving attention to alternate energy sources and hydel power plants. It has been planned to complete the most of energy projects through the private sector to provide cheap electricity to the people facing the issue of price-hike, he added and held Punjab will not only be energy self-sufficient but would also provide electricity to other provinces.

Energy Minister Dr Akhtar Malik said the journey of bringing real change is continuous and the change process in Punjab will be soon visible in the whole of the country. Secretary Energy also addressed the function.

Provincial ministers Abdul Aleem Khan, Hashim Jawan Bakht, SACM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and parliamentarians were also present.

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